While most babies have their little hands full with the all-important business of teething and crawling at six months, some have other things to be getting on with – and for one, that meant reaching for the stars.
In 1991, six-month-old Jordan Leads was on a rock climbing trip with her parents in California’s Joshua Tree National Park when a picture of the young family was taken by photographer Greg Epperson, and then published by adventurewear brand Patagonia in its 1995 spring catalogue.
The photo, titled “Come to Papa”, saw young Jordan – and the adventure-loving Sherry and Jeff Leads – bundled in a jumpsuit, soaring through the air between two large rocks with a substantial gap between them. She appeared to have been launched from her mum’s arms, and was heading straight for her father’s waiting ones.
It fast tracked the family to worldwide fame, and even once the attention had settled, Sherry and Jeff made sure the moment wouldn’t be forgotten, choosing to hang a copy in the hallway of their family home.
And now, almost 30 years on from the height of her stardom, Jordan has come to embrace that chapter of her life, going so far as to use the handle ‘That Flying Baby’ online. Though like her parents, Jordan’s life goal isn’t to head for the skies, with the young Leads following in their footsteps as an avid climber.
And Jordan, who has a baby of her own, hopes to pass that passion onto her children when they’re old enough, as well as the story of her unusual rise to fame.
“I can’t wait to show [the pictures] to my kids one day,” she told NPR, “and to show them how I was growing up, how my parents raised me and to really just bring that whole family value of going outside back to them.
“I would put [it] up on the wall, and then I could put my child’s right next to it in our hallway … I think that would be really cool.”
Jordan may have her work cut out for her getting the story to them first, however, with the picture making a resurgence online in recent years as entertained internet users transformed it into a popular meme.
Thankfully, Jordan could see the fun in it all, even getting in on it herself when it came to her pregnancy announcement, when she photoshopped the faces of herself and her partner onto her parents’ bodies, and their ultrasound over the image of her younger self.
But her favourite of all the edits takes things a little further from reality, as Jordan told Weekend Edition Saturday’s Scott Simon, it showed her parents “feeding me to a Jurassic Park dinosaur. I think that’s the best.”
This article first appeared on Over60.